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Health and fitness challenges we dare you to try for the month of May

If winter derailed your running habits, prepare for a May challenge to get yourself back on track and in shape for summer.

Happy May 1st! To some of us (admittedly over-eager) runners, the first of the month is the sign of new beginnings. It’s sort of a time to evaluate those goals set on the first day of year, edit them or start completely fresh. April is grey and while it’s often praised for being the month to kick-off spring, in many parts of Canada, snow and sleet are still the norm. May, on the other hand, brings the promise of warm weather and sunshine. What better time to challenge yourself to commit to a fitness goal? If winter derailed your running habits, prepare for a May challenge to get yourself back on track and in shape for summer. Here are a few suggestions. 

RELATED: Should I start a running streak?

Run streak

This is a classic runner challenge where one makes sure to get in a run every single day. Many runners set a minimum distance or amount of time to run each day. For example: a run less than 4K may not count for some runners. While it may not be advisable to do a run streak for an extended period of time, a three-week or month-long challenge should be safe for most so long as the runner includes easy runs, low mileage days and doesn’t increase their run distances by unrealistic amounts. 

Daily ab workout

The idea around this one is straightforward: do an ab circuit workout each day. Like the run streak, the length and intensity should vary. Runners who take a stab at this challenge should vary up the exercises so as to target different core muscle groups. 

New weekly workout

Maybe once a week for the month of May, you change things up a little. Test our a series of new cross-training activities. Say each Saturday of the month you head to the gym with a partner and see how you do in the yoga or pilates sessions. Or, get ready for summer and make a splash in the pool. 

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Morning goals

Perhaps it’s not so much about what you do for fitness as it is about when you do it. This May, set that alarm clock a little earlier and vow to not hit snooze. There’s an argument out there that it takes 21 days to form a habit. If that holds true, you’ll be an early bird convert come June. 

Train for a spring race

Luckily there’s a barrage of race options in May. Pick one towards the end of the month or in early June and make it your mission to train for it all month. Need advice? Head on over to the blog “12 races in 12 months” where Susan writes about running a race for every month of the year.  

Plank it out

Ah, the plank challenge! The premise of this one is to get into plank position for a few minutes every day.  Time it. Then, each day, tack on more time to what you did previously. 

Reign in the diet

Eat healthier. How many of us have set out to achieve that goal before? This month, make a point of cutting out a couple of your less healthy go-to indulgences. (Nachos and macaroni, ciao!) Another way to get into this challenge is to purposely add healthier items to the cart, be it an extra package of mixed greens, whole grain cereal or whatever you choose. 

Declare May “Health and Fitness Month”

This challenge is for the true go-getters out there. Mix and match the above suggestions to create healthier overall habits this month.